Elika Bergelson

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania 2013


Dr. Bergelson is accepting applications for PhD students in the 2016-2017 Cycle; she accepts through the Developmental and Cog/CogNeuro areas.

In my research, I try to understand the interplay of processes during language acquisition.
In particular, I am interested in how word learning relates to other aspects of learning language (i.e. speech sound acquisition), and social/cognitive development more broadly (e.g. joint attention processes) in the first two years of life.

I pursue these questions using two main approaches: in-lab measures of early comprehension and production (mostly with eye-tracking experiments), and at-home measures of infants' linguistic and social environment (as in the SEEDLingS project)


Language acquisition, word learning, cognitive development, psycholinguistics

Bergelson, E, and Aslin, R. "Semantic Specificity in One-Year-Olds’ Word Comprehension." Language Learning and Development 13.4 (October 2, 2017): 481-501. Full Text

Frank, MC, Bergelson, E, Bergmann, C, Cristia, A, Floccia, C, Gervain, J, Hamlin, JK, Hannon, EE, Kline, M, Levelt, C, Lew-Williams, C, Nazzi, T, Panneton, R, Rabagliati, H, Soderstrom, M, Sullivan, J, Waxman, S, and Yurovsky, D. "A Collaborative Approach to Infant Research: Promoting Reproducibility, Best Practices, and Theory-Building." Infancy 22.4 (July 2017): 421-435. Full Text

Bergelson, E, and Swingley, D. "Young Infants' Word Comprehension Given An Unfamiliar Talker or Altered Pronunciations." Child development (June 22, 2017). Full Text

VanDam, M, Warlaumont, AS, Bergelson, E, Cristia, A, Soderstrom, M, De Palma, P, and MacWhinney, B. "HomeBank: An Online Repository of Daylong Child-Centered Audio Recordings." Seminars in speech and language 37.2 (May 2016): 128-142. Full Text Open Access Copy

Bergelson, E, and Swingley, D. "Early Word Comprehension in Infants: Replication and Extension." Language learning and development : the official journal of the Society for Language Development 11.4 (January 2015): 369-380. Full Text Open Access Copy

Bergelson, E, and Swingley, D. "The acquisition of abstract words by young infants." Cognition 127.3 (June 2013): 391-397. Full Text Open Access Copy

Bergelson, E, Shvartsman, M, and Idsardi, WJ. "Differences in mismatch responses to vowels and musical intervals: MEG evidence." PloS one 8.10 (January 2013): e76758-. Full Text Open Access Copy

Bergelson, E, and Swingley, D. "Young toddlers' word comprehension is flexible and efficient." PloS one 8.8 (January 2013): e73359-. Full Text Open Access Copy

Bergelson, E, and Swingley, D. "At 6-9 months, human infants know the meanings of many common nouns." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109.9 (February 13, 2012): 3253-3258. Full Text Open Access Copy

Bergelson, E, and Idsardi, WJ. "A neurophysiological study into the foundations of tonal harmony." Neuroreport 20.3 (February 2009): 239-244. Full Text

Metze, F, Riebling, E, Warlaumont, AS, and Bergelson, E. "Virtual machines and containers as a platform for experimentation." January 1, 2016. Full Text

Bergelson, E, and Swingley, D. "Social and Environmental Contributors to Infant Word Learning." cognitivesciencesociety.org, 2013.

Selected Grants

Analyzing Child Language Experiences Around the World (ACLEW) awarded by National Endowment for the Humanities (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2020

Mechanisms of Word Learning in Infancy awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2019